Marriage certificate is an official declaration that states that two people are married. In India, Marriages can be registered either under the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 or under the Special Marriage Act, 1954. For both types of marriages, a marriage certificate is the legitimate proof that a couple is married. In 2006, the Supreme Court made it mandatory to register the marriage for safeguarding women’s rights. Hence, obtaining a marriage certificate after marriage can have various benefits.

Note: To obtain marriage certificate, the groom must be over 21 years of age and the bride must be over 18 years of age.


Marriage certificate is an essential document while applying for a passport or opening a bank account with a new surname post wedding. Also, in case of foreign travel or visa processing, many embassies request a copy of the marriage certificate. Hence, a marriage certificate is obligatory many couples to move to abroad after wedding.


STEP 1: Apply to the office of Sub Divisional Magistrate in whose jurisdiction the marriage/wedding actually took place or where either spouse has lived for at least 6 months prior. If you’re registering your marriage under the Special Marriage Act, both parties have to give a 30-day notice to the sub-registrar in whose jurisdiction at least one of you has resided for the past 6 months.

STEP 2: At the Sub-Registrar’s office itself, fill up the application form and submit the documents:

  • Evidence of date of birth
  • Proof of residence
  • An Affidavit by both you and your partner stating place and date of marriage, date of birth, marital status at the time of marriage and nationalities.
  • Passport-sized photographs of you and your partner
  • Evidence of the marriage/wedding – Wedding invitation card, if available, photograph from the wedding, certificate from the priest who solemnised the marriage (when registering under Hindu Wedding Act). 
  • Affirmation that the parties are not related to each other within the prohibited degree of relationship.
  • For cases of remarriage – you need an attested copy of the decree of divorce or the death certificate of the spouse.

STEP 3: Get these documents attested by a gazette officer.

STEP 4: Deposit a fee with the cashier and attach the receipt with the form.

STEP 4: Once you’ve submitted the application and it’s all been verified, the officer will assign a date for registration. This is 15 days in case of registration under Hindu Marriage Act & 60 Days in case of Special Marriage Act

STEP 5: One copy of the notice is put up on the office board of sub-registrar’s office and the other is sent by registered post to you and your partner. In cases of divorce, where there is no objection, the marriage is registered one month from the date of the notice. Where the divorced party does have an objection, an officer conducts and enquiry and the registration takes place after that investigation.

STEP 6: So your documents are verified, and the date of registration is issued. You and your spouse need to come back to the sub-registrar’s office with a witness. Witness guidelines:

If you’re registering under Hindu Marriage Act, the witness should have attended the wedding too. In either case, the witness should carry ID proof (e.g. passport, driving license etc) and proof of residence.

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